Difficult Dialogue in Distressing Days

This post originally appeared at Conciliar Post. Another week, another round of things for people to vehemently and caustically disagree about. Whether it’s politics, economics, social issues, or religious news, we can’t seem to disagree with one another fast enough. We’ll pick up a cause and champion it for a time, only to have somethingContinue reading “Difficult Dialogue in Distressing Days”

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Canoeing the Mountains

This post originally appeared at Conciliar Post. After fifteen difficult months of travel, they had made it. Lewis and Clark had reached the spring that began the Missouri River, that great river they had been following since they crossed the Mississippi and began their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. For over three hundred years beforeContinue reading “Canoeing the Mountains”

Suggestions for Social Media Sanity

In case you haven’t heard, social media has garnered quite the reputation. Whether you’re talking about the perniciousness of Twitter-fueled outrage, the placidity of hashtag activism, the propensity to waste hours of your life, the easy propagation of fake news, or the paucity of meaningful conversation, social media is often viewed negatively. But social mediaContinue reading “Suggestions for Social Media Sanity”

Listening to Destitute Minds

I believe we suffer from a propensity to look at people with whom we disagree and say to ourselves, “That person can’t teach me anything. They are so wrong in how they think, so insufficient in their intellectual capacities, so distorted in their worldview, that I could not possibly see reality more clearly by interactingContinue reading “Listening to Destitute Minds”

A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. When the Rubber Meets the Road The final step of this process brings the historical insights of what the Shepherd of Hermas indicates about the teaching authority of woman into conversation with contemporary conversations about women in the church. Here,Continue reading “A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road”

A Proposal: Application

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. Women in the Apostolic Fathers As an application of this approach, I want to quickly examine conceptions of women which appear in the early Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. To keep this example as brief as possible, considerContinue reading “A Proposal: Application”

A Proposal: History then Theology

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. History then Theology Once our historiographical assumptions are clarified, we may then turn to the task of integrating historical insight and context into theology. I suggest three steps for this process. First, discern what Christian X says about topic Y,Continue reading “A Proposal: History then Theology”

A Proposal: Historiographical Models

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. Four Historiographic Models When approaching theological concepts from a historical angle, the issue of historiography must be addressed as a matter of primary important.2 That is, before we make appeals to, for example, what Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistles say aboutContinue reading “A Proposal: Historiographical Models”

A Proposal for Approaching Theology Historically

Several months ago, I was privileged to present a paper at a regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. There is nothing quite like the amassed scholarship of these conferences, the gathering of minds eager to pursue knowledge and discuss the finer points of theology, biblical interpretation, and Christian praxis. Of course, it would notContinue reading “A Proposal for Approaching Theology Historically”

How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

As a teacher, I am regularly asked about Bible passages and the theology they convey. Sometimes the questions are straightforward; other times, not so much. Some time back, for example, as I was innocently trying to lead our community group through Romans 8:18-30, I was asked how to interpret verses 29-30 in light of thatContinue reading “How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages”